A number of readers responded to Ben Bernstein’s request for information on where to play go in Japan (Looking for Japan Go Tips 9/4 EJ). Be sure to check ahead whenever possible, as clubs often move or close (email email@example.com with updated info). Here’s a run-down:
Click here for Sensei’s Library’s listings of “Places to visit when in Japan, related to Go. Shopping, bookstores, clubs, restaurants, historical places, events, cemeteries, shrines, transport etc. Thanks to Bob McGuigan for the tip.
Nihon Ki-in; email for a tour. “Also ask about the English go class they have,” suggests Devin Flake. “I was able to meet professional players and have them review my games, all so they could practice their English!” photo: the Nihon Ki-in’s top playing room
7-2 Gobancho Chiyoda-Ku Tokyo Japan – at Ichigaya station — 1st Go Salon inside of Nihon Ki-in
1-7-20 -9F, Yaesu Chuo-Ku Tokyo Japan – at Tokyo station — 2nd Go Salon of Nihon Ki-in
Sunshine City Go Salon 8th or 9th floor
Ueno Go Center; literally a stone’s throw from Ueno Station; the address is Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Ueno Koen 1-54; phone 03-3831-3137. Look for the big Shouchiku Department Store sign; you’ll be able to see go players in the third-floor windows of the club.
Diamond Go Salon; “This one was a little expensive and its mainly for women but it was still fun to try out!” says Devin Flake.
4 floor building Kojimachi Scripture 3-4-7, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0083 〒 03-3263-0620 TEL/Fax directly. Exit 3 “Kojimachi station” ○ Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line, Hanzomon “○ Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line “5-minute walk from the train station 7 minutes walk from the “Yotsuya Station ○ JR, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, Nanboku”
Email E-Journal contributor Kazunari Furuyama firstname.lastname@example.org “He was very good to me and introduced me to the Sunshine City Go Salon,” says Flake. “He even reviewed my games and took me out for lunch and dinner – great guy!” photo: Kaz (left) with the Bay Area Go Players Association’s Roger Schrag at the Sunshine Club; photo by Lisa Schrag
“Many train stations have go clubs nearby,” says Lee Freedman. “Look for the kanji for IGo.” He adds that “Westerners frequent a go club near the Takadananobaba train station in Tokyo.” He also reports that “There is a go club in Shinjuku open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.” That’s confirmed by Bob Barber, who just returned from Tokyo. “It’s across the street from the Shinjuku Prince Hotel (in Shinjuku, of course). On the 4th (or 6th) floor. In any case, you can see the kanji for Go from street level. The Japanese have a word for it: shibui. Well-worn tables, perhaps a dozen. Probably not smoke free.”
Freedman says that senior centers often have go clubs. “Expect to pay a fee at clubs, to be asked your playing rank, and to be flooded with requests for games, especially if your rating is shodan or higher. If you want to be fair, inflate your US rating one stone.”